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No on Measure L Part 2

The second part of my examination into why Measure L will not solve the problems in and out of the classroom that are holding our schools back.


(This is the second part of a blog. Here is a link to part one.)

Perhaps most damning of all is Jerry Heverly’s evaluation of our public schools. As a teacher at San Leandro High School, Mr. Heverly is well aware of the burdens facing educators beyond budget woes, issues that have taken root both in the homes of students and within the very structure of our educational system. “Failure is widespread” wrote Mr. Heverly of the performance of his students up to the end of this grading period, noting “it’s like this every year”.

The district continues to insist that it all comes down to money, yet no matter how much San Leandrans provide there never seems to be any bones to attach all this meat to. As Mr. Heverly asked, where are the solutions? Our initial investment from Measure B and M has yielded an API score of 738 out of 1000 in the 2011-2012 school year. Though 800 was the state target, the numbers woefully betray the fact that San Leandro is clinging to being average.

I doubt that low test scores are what any San Leandran was hoping for when they bought into the district’s claims that things would get better once we funded M and B. Our leadership in district office seems to think it’s more important to focus resources on funding a free clinic as opposed to solving the problems in our classrooms. If our teachers in the classroom are directionless, what good will buying them a GPS be if they don‘t even know where they‘re going in the first place?

Measure L will continue the district’s trend of poor planning and fiscal irresponsibility. Don’t buy once more into the district’s quick-fix mentality that never pans out. Low test scores and a lack of leadership are undermining our schools and our students’ potential. Tell the SLUSD no and demand fundamental changes to how this district and the state handles education. Vote no on Measure L.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Andrew Kopp November 07, 2012 at 11:27 PM
The fact that teachers are often forced to dig into their own funds to pay for anything in the classroom is really bothersome. As David might portray the situation: Employee: "Boss, I don't have the equipment to perform the job. Can you get purchasing to order the necessary supplies so that I can perform my job properly and achieve success?" Boss: "No. A third of the shareholders blocked the other two thirds from giving the capital so Purchasing isn't getting anything. You're going to have to put out your own funds to pay for those supplies. Listen, if you want your cozy job, you'll put up with the supplies you get and you'll pay for whatever else you need out of your above average salary. Otherwise you can look for work elsewhere." Employee: "Well, I have a masters degree. I've complied with the most inane regulations imaginable, different instructions every month, received less than adequate cooperation from my customers, and inadequate support from my superiors. And I've spent the past fifteen years herding cats, so I can pretty much do anything. $#@! you. Find some trust fund Teach for American want to go to law school in two years twenty-three year old on an emergency certificate and see if he/she will part with her daily frapacrapamochachino money to get the supplies."
David November 08, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Andrew, the only reasons teachers "dig into their own pockets" are: 1) the parents are irresponsible. 2) the teachers' union have sucked up all the money for teachers' salaries. The analogy is: Boss: I'm so stupid to have promised my workers more than they're producing; I can't afford capital investments! Board of Directors: You're fired. New Boss: I have to cut wages in order to buy supplies/make capital investments! Board of Directors: Yep.
Andrew Kopp November 08, 2012 at 12:31 AM
"The teachers' union has sucked up all the money"? That implies that A) there is a naturally limited amount of funds for the school system's needs, and B) the teachers are paid more than they actually deserve (either as a percentage of the available funds or in relation to other employment in the national and local economy). There is no natural limit. In business, there's a natural limit - your revenue and the amount that you can borrow. In the public arena the limit is determined by the people (indirectly) and the elected officials (directly). If there is not enough money to cover the necessary capital AND compensate the teachers competitively, that is the fault of the electorate and the elected. If, on the other hand, you are suggesting that through the strong arm tactics of the teachers' union the public school teachers are being paid an unreasonably high sum of money for their relative contribution, I would be pleased to hear your argument in support thereof.
David November 08, 2012 at 02:26 AM
Uh Andrew: A) There is a limited amount of funds for the school system. Are you suggesting a 100% tax rate? B) Teachers are paid more here than in the rest of the country by far. But more importantly, the dreck of the administration from Sacramento on down is a far heavier burden than other states and certainly than in private schools. C) The evidence is right before you. Qualified teachers teach for lower salaries and benefits at private schools all the time. The union cartel forces higher wages through its political bribing tactics and regular extortion runs on the public.
David November 08, 2012 at 02:31 AM
PS. The K-12 per pupil spending structure in the US has increased dramatically in the past 30 years, in California it has doubled after inflation. We have by far the costliest school system in the world, for middling outcomes. I hear all the time that our health care system is the costliest in the world and somehow is terrible (despite longer , and more disability-free life after 60 than any other Western country), yet where is the outcry that our schools fritter away Billions in administrative costs, bloated teacher salaries and other garbage for mediocre results? Everyone says therefore we must cut healthcare spending. Why not apply the same principles to K-12 education spending?


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